I’m sick of looking after your kids when you leave them alone!

Not my kids!
Not my kids! Photo: Getty Images

I'm done. I'm sick of babysitting your kids. I know you haven't asked me to look after them, but the moment you let your kids go out without you, they become someone else's responsibility.

Here's the thing, you might be into free range parenting or simply encouraging your kids to be more independent, but I already have three kids of my own and I don't need additional children under my care.

Recently, I'd taken my children aged six, eight and nine to the caravan park pool. It was a gorgeous day and the kids were having a fabulous time. They are all capable in the pool, but they still need close supervision. Watching three kids while they duck and dive under the water is tricky work.

As I sat on the pool's edge, constantly checking from one kid to the other, I looked around for a friendly adult face and there were none. Immediately, I counted the kids in the pool – 11. Most of them were under the age of 12.

Suddenly, I realised I was not only watching over my own three kids – I was the only responsible adult in the care of 11 kids. Where were the other parents?

All it would take is one child to slip and fall on the concrete or get into trouble in the deep end and then what would I do? Would I get my kids out first and then help a stranger's child? Or would I put my own kids' safety at peril to help someone else's kid? Both outcomes could result in tragedy if not handled correctly.

And it's not the only time I've been in this position. It happens all the time and I'm sick of it. I want to spend quality time with my kids, not yours.

Then there are the kids coming home from school who cross roads without looking, ride in the middle of the street and the ones too busy playing PokemonGo to notice the world around them.

And then there are the ones at the playground. You know the ones. They hover around wanting someone, anyone, to pay them some attention. And when it's time to go home, you don't feel comfortable leaving them alone, in case anything happens to them.

Advertisement

I understand letting kids learn to navigate this world by themselves – that's how I did, but what I don't understand is adults leaving their children to do so with an expectation that someone else will look after their kids.

While I already have enough kids to care for, I'm a good person who believes a village raises a child. There are many who do not.

They are the ones who drive too fast near school zones or prey on kids who play alone at playgrounds. They turn a blind eye when someone else's child is in pain, and they don't know the signs of drowning, allergic reactions or choking. And it's for those reasons you can't rely on the kindness of others to look out for your kids, when you can't.

And you also can't assume other people want to.

I will never stop watching out for your kids, but I'm over being your unpaid babysitter.